By Jeremy Miles
The usually excellent Platform 4 Theatre Company present this daringly stripped down version of The Tempest with the intention of evoking all the dreamlike qualities of Shakespeare’s fantasy island.
Unfortunately their efforts, valiant though they are, fail and the alchemy is lost in a well intentioned but plodding three-hander.
Monday’s opening night at Lighthouse wasn’t helped by what sounded horribly like constant but gentle snoring coming from one of the back rows.
Though this did add an extra dimension to Prospero’s famous observation that
“We are such stuff as dreams are made on…”
In fairness, with its minimal set, inventive lighting and sound and three worthy players in Ralf Higgins (Prospero), Laura Carmichael (Miranda and Ariel) and Richard Nutter ( Ferdinand and Caliban), it is an intriguing and brave attempt to plumb into the spirit of this powerfully mystical play.
Somehow though the magic gets blown away by the very imagery, metaphor and simile that is supposed to bring it to life. The play only last an hour-and-a-half but by the time Prospero had traded his monstrous powers for his daughter’s happiness I was looking at my watch and, like the reinstated Duke of Milan himself, was frankly ready to go home.